Scott Hardie | December 9, 2002
Yesterday I snuck into my first movie in as long as I can remember, possibly ever. My mom and I had spent all day doing Christmas shopping and we were tired, so we ordered tickets to a 7:15 show of "Far from Heaven" and headed to a pizzeria for a quick but relaxing dinner. Unfortunately the place apparently had one waiter, because he took almost fifteen minutes between each visit to our table. We got out of there at 7:50 and headed for the theater, confident that if we paid for the valet parking in front of the theater instead of going to the parking lot in the back like we usually did, we could still make it. Then we ran into yet another of Sarasota's wonderful downtown parades. This one seemed to be Christmas-themed, but this city has parades so often that I think they sometimes just make up reasons. It took us twenty minutes to drive three blocks to the parking lot (valet parking was closed), and by the time we entered the building, it was 7:25. We printed our tickets and decided that it was too late for the movie we wanted, so we strolled down the hallway and decided to enter a 7:45 show of "Real Women Have Curves." After all the shit-ass advertisements (fuck the people who laugh at Fandango commercials) and trailers, the movie finally started at 8:00. I forgot that this theater doesn't start the pre-show stuff until several minutes after showtime, which meant that we could have seen the movie we wanted anyway. But that's okay... I've seen both movies already and they're both very good, so we could have had a good time either way. And we did.

Just in case you were wondering why I don't write new topics on Tragic Comedy more often, it's because anecdotes like this are about as exciting as my life gets.

On the subject of sneaking into movies: I don't think it's wrong to do it under certain circumstances such as the incident I just described, when you're unavoidably late to the show for which you bought tickets and so you sneak into a different show instead and then leave. I do think it's wrong when people buy tickets for one movie and watch it and then sneak into a second or even a third movie for free afterwards, but it's a tiny wrong, and I don't really hold it against the people who do it. (Several friends of mine brag about doing this often.) As a frequent moviegoer, though, I can say that it's getting annoying when people do this. It seems like every fifteen minutes, someone enters the theater, stomps up the ramp, walks in front of the length of the screen, and noisily sits down in an empty seat, distracting from the movie the whole time. (And if they find that they can't discern the plot after half the movie has already passed, they noisily get up and leave.) A crowd of eight teenagers did this during "Real Women Have Curves" last night, entered noisily and ten minutes later, left noisily. If you people are going to sneak in after a movie has already started, could you please be more fucking quiet for the rest of us who paid to see it?

Matthew Preston | December 10, 2002
Wait, you finished eating at 7:50, but entered the theater at 7:25? WOW!
Of the times I spent sneaking into theaters, it was always carefully planned out in advance. A friend of mine and I would pay for one matinee movie and then linger into other ones that were about to start. We never theater hopped if something was already going.
Also, most of the theaters make all or most of their money on concessions only. So as long as you keep buying popcorn the employees in a few theaters didn't care. Hearing some stories from older relatives, this was the common thing to do in older days. In fact it was welcomed as long as concessions were bought.

Scott Hardie | December 10, 2002
Oops - make that 6:50.

Theater-hopping: Helping curious teenagers see R-rated movies since Jack Valenti came to town.

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